Monday, March 23, 2009

Bonanzle Update #6

As someone said on eBay's message boards, Bonanzle "is happening." I opened my booth on January 1st with one item, which was really just to see how the site worked. I did not begin building my booth until mid-January, so I have not had anything of significance for sale for more than two months. In that time, I have had 17 transactions, many of which were for multiple items. It averages out to two transactions per week. During some weeks, I have had no transactions, while during other weeks I have had several.

Some people have purchased one low-priced book from me and have gotten a freebie. Other people have purchased several low-priced items from me and have gotten several freebies. In other cases, people have purchased a combination of low-priced items and moderately high-priced items and do not necessarily get freebies. I seem to send out freebies with around half of the orders. The amount sold totals just over $600.00.

This is working out for me. I normally would sell on eBay in spurts, when I felt like listing books for sale. I would list lots of stuff at once and then would sometimes not list for several months. With Bonanzle, I have a bunch of stuff for sale which stays in my booth with no effort on my part, and it gradually sells. If I had been selling on eBay in the last two months, I might not have sold more than $600.00 worth of books. It is hard to say, but I feel like it balances out to about the same.

I have tried to put a lot of books up at low price, and I feel like this helps. I have been unable to list books on eBay at low prices due to the high fees. At Bonanzle, there are no listing fees. We only pay the final value fees, which are about the same as eBay's fees. In some cases, the final value fees are slightly lower.

This is where my traffic comes from:

1. Google - 44.8%
2. Direct (from Bonanzle and bookmarks) - 22.4%
3. This blog - 10.6%
4. My website - 3.0%
5. All other sources - 19.2%

Most of my traffic comes from Google, and this is why I am certain that Bonanzle is viable and will be a successful venue. I have gone to the main Google search, and I have found that some of my listings show up very high on general searches. I have a Judy Bolton book that is #11 out of 262,000 results for Judy Bolton. I see similar results for some of the other searches. Bonanzle items are getting very good exposure in Google.

Bonanzle has one feature that I really like. When I send a message to a buyer, they receive a message in their personal email that states they have a message on Bonanzle. They have to go to Bonanzle to read it. Once the buyer reads the message on Bonanzle, it is marked as read so that I know it has been read.

In the above image, notice that two messages have stars next to them. Those are the two messages that are unread, and the rest have been read by the recipients.

Last, and this is related since most of Bonanzle's traffic comes from Google. It is helpful to know what people are searching for. Google has this information.

Google AdWords Keyword Tool

Type something into the search box, like Nancy Drew, and Google will reveal how many searches were done and what the most popular searches were. Neat!


Lenora said...

Hearing of your success at Bonanzle last night finally pushed me over the edge, and I've created a booth. I think it really must be hitting a critical mass, because Melody of Redeeming Qualities has also set one up in the last few days. She moved from Amazon, though, which I think is interesting.

The most appealing thing to me was the idea of one or two sales a week--I hate loading up with a dozen packages to head to the post office on weeks when I eBay. Not that I'll probably even have that many, since I don't have a lot of stock and am no longer actively acquiring extras. Of course, if this works out, I may change my mind on that. I will say that I love the humorous, community feel that Bonanzle has. EBay was (and is) taking itself way too seriously.

Jennifer said...

I have been astounded at the large increase in Nancy Drew listings at Bonanzle in the last week or so. In the books category, there are now well over 400 items. When I listed my first books, there were no more than 10 to 20 Nancy Drew books listed.

I will say that I love the humorous, community feel that Bonanzle has. EBay was (and is) taking itself way too seriously.

Bonanzle feels so much like eBay did in 1997. Bill Harding's humor reminds me of the fun in the early days on the eBay message boards. Does anyone remember Skippy? Skippy was an eBay employee who was endearing, probably because he was so friendly, and everyone loved him.

I also remember the time a couple of eBay employees flirted with each other briefly one day on the message boards, much to everyone's absolute delight. Those were such fun times!